NWS upgrades deadly overnight Montgomery County tornado to EF-2
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - The National Weather Service office in Birmingham continues to survey damage following overnight storms that swept across the state. Wednesday afternoon, NWS officials opted to upgrade the preliminary size and strength of a deadly Montgomery County tornado to an EF-2.
The Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency said the upgrade means the tornado that hit the Flatwood community in a northern portion of the county had winds up to 115 mph.
Gov. Kay Ivey confirmed two victims, killed after a tree fell on their mobile home, were a mother and her 8-year-old son. A third person in the home, identified only as a man, is being treated at an area hospital.
“We’re praying for the family,” Montgomery County Commissioner Isaiah Sankey said. “We want to just let the family members know that we’re supporting them and whatever they need, we’re going to have the resources available to get them through this. In addition to that, when you talk about rebuilding, we’re not even concerned about that. At this time, we’re just grieving the loss of the life that was lost during this tragic incident.”
While little information is known about their deaths, officials said the fatalities resulted from a tree falling on the home.
“It’s always a sad day when you lose somebody during a storm,” Montgomery County Sheriff Derrick Cunningham said. “We’re more thankful about now as these first responders who came out to Hill on the search and rescue, I can’t say enough about the men and women of the volunteer fire department from North Montgomery pike road. I mean, when they got that call, they came Montgomery Fire Rescue, they brought their heavy rescue in, wasn’t for them to bring in some of the tools that we needed to make this.”
Cunningham said first responders remain at the scene, checking door to door to ensure everyone is accounted.
“We’re going to continue to do that until we make sure that everybody’s accounted for. That’s our number one priority,” Cunningham said.
The Montgomery County EMA said there were more reports of downed trees, powerlines and trees on homes in the area.
The pastor at Union Academy Missionary Baptist Church says it will open its doors at 5:30 p.m. for residents of the Flatwood community. There will have a meeting for residents to be connected with the resources to help them as they clean up.
Other parts of the WSFA 12 News viewing area are also reporting damage from the storms.
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